(2015: exit stage left with flourish)


May I just wish you all a marvellous end to the year and the happiest of starts to the next one.

2016’s gonna be a big year here.

Catch ya then.
M x


So, The Railway Children steams off into the distance and on to the pages of Matchbox history. And, as expected, the reports and feedback were universally full of praise. Once again, another evening of magic, innovation and enjoyment was provided at St Francis Church hall.

As one would expect, the show was characterised by typically strong performances, although special mention should go to Lily Pearce, Adam Benwell,  and Emma Tolmie, the Children themselves, who sustained believable characters and emotional pace to charm and engage an appreciative audience. Accompanied by many wonderful cameos from a variety of Matchbox stalwarts, here was an evening which showcased the consistent talent that are to be found in the group’s ranks.

Recreating the railway and countryside around Three Chimneys was obviously no small feat but as the photos above show, the hall was transformed- with tunnels, steam and an innovative track which was rolled in and out with deft hands and expert swiftness.Indeed, many commented on the slick nature of the scene changing and cracking pace that was maintained throughout. With a unique positioning of seats the audience were very much at the heart of the action as it unfolded around them so that they were allowed to be fully immersed into the classic, endearing story.

Undeniably then, another triumph and one that brings to an end another successful and varied year for the group. All involved deserve the plaudits heaped upon the play, the bar has been raised  for the year to come.

But more of that anon.

Happy Friday!





The Age of Steam Begins

And so ‘The Railway Children’ steams out of the station and into the church hall for its opening night.

Innovative and exciting with some marvellous performances and imaginative staging, it promises a mixture of laughs and lump in the throat moments all accompanied by dazzling son et lumiere. You will not be disappointed.

The very best to all involved in cast and crew.  And, as the poster says..L

I look forward to the plaudits to come.


“Daddy, my daddy!”


To a whole generation, those three simple words carry a deep resonance  which has brought the sternest man or maid to blubbering tears.

The film version of Edith Nesbit’s  ‘The Railway Children’, now 45 years old, is considered a classic of British cinema and has a considerable cultural significance for many across a wide age range, as explored in this article from The Guardian here:


One would needed to have been fairly reclusive to be unaware of the splendid stage version, complete with real steam train, which has been wowing audiences across the country since 2008.

And now, ‘Three Chimneys’ comes to West Wickham. The Matchbox Theatre’s version of the story opens on Thursday, running three nights until Saturday. Ambitious in scope and style, the director, Vicky Pearce’s vision is inventive and will undoubtedly delight. Building on the successful innovation of ‘Improbable Fiction’, it channels the emotion, excitement and visual pleasures of the story played out during the age of steam. With creative staging that places the audience into the heart of the action,  marvellous visual effects, outstanding performance and slick storytelling this promises to be another evening  of wonderful theatre. And, as oft I say, that it costs but £6 is one of the truest examples of value for money a discerning viewer will find. Tickets are still available, to the best of my knowledge, but going fast.

‘Be about it.’